Electrical Safety First – the Charity formerly known as the Electrical Safety Council - is asking stakeholders to support its position on the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Review of Property Conditions in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).
A recent DCLG discussion document has incorporated a number of key safety issues Electrical Safety First has long lobbied for: in particular whether or not landlords should be legally required to have electrical installations regularly checked.
Electrical Safety First wants the introduction of mandatory, five-yearly safety checks by a competent person of electrical installations in PRS properties, along with any electrical appliance supplied with them.
Currently, registered houses in multiple occupations are already required to have a five year review of the electrical installation.
Electrical Safety First said a blanket requirement for such testing in all PRS homes would reduce confusion around best practice and provide a degree of parity with gas safety, which landlords must have checked every year.
Electrical Safety First director general Phil Buckle said: “Another important issue raised by the DCLG discussion document is how to increase awareness of respective responsibilities amongst landlords and tenants.
“We know this is essential as our own research shows three in ten landlords and 40 per cent of renters do not know who is responsible for the electrical safety of their home. And other research has indicated that 16 per cent of PRS tenants live in homes containing electrical hazards. So improving awareness is not only a safety fundamental but also a cost-effective way of improving the sector.”